[python-uk] British Library hack event May 28-29

Fadhley, Salim salim.fadhley at baml.com
Thu May 9 19:43:36 CEST 2013

I've been invited (and will probably attend) a hack event at the British Library - the goal is to build help the BL find ways to archive community radio.

I've been personally involved with Resonance FM since 2003. In case you've never heard of it, Resonance is probably the world's most bizarre radio station. It provides a home for audio artists and musicians who might never get exposure from commercial radio.

Resonance has shared an archive of more than a decade's worth of audio on a bunch of hard-disk drives. The challenge of this event is to find a way to make sense of it all. The eventual goal will be to allow the British Library to host Resonance FM's audio in much the same way that it currently does for the BBC World Service.

If you are interested, the registration URL is:


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Wilson, Paul" <Paul.Wilson at bl.uk>
Date: 9 May 2013 17:36
Subject: British Library hack event May 28-29
To: <sal at stodge.org>

Dear Salim,
I’m curator of radio here at the British Library, which is now home to the Resonance FM Archive. Chris Weaver has suggested that you may be interested in a two-day hack event which BL Labs are hosting at the Library’s Euston Road premises on Tues 28th and Wed 29th May. The aim of this event is to resolve some technical issues which are currently preventing us from (a) archiving the Resonance FM collection into the Library’s Digital Library System (which will guarantee its survival alongside all the Library’s other digital media for, in theory, forever!) and (b) cataloguing the collection to the Library’s online catalogues where researchers and other interested users can discover the collection’s contents. If these problems are resolved at the event we also then hope to start building, with Resonance’s approval/assistance, a (legally compliant) online collection of programmes from the archive which can then be used by the wider community for creative or educational purposes, or just for the pleasure of listening. 
The collection which we have taken into the Library is all of the extant audio since 2002 which we currently hold on a set of hard drives, along with the schedule data (from 2002 to about July 2007 as Filemaker Pro and from then onwards as i-Cal). The recordings we’ll be focussing on at the event are the original ‘day files’ – Resonance’s recordings of transmission, typically between one and four files per day. What we are hoping to accomplish at the hack event is to use the transmission dates and start times inherent in the file names, along with the schedule data, to segment the day files into individual programmes and link both in a spreadsheet which we can then use to achieve our stated objectives.
If this is accomplished quickly at the event we may also wish to look at resolving some other issues relating to preparation of the Resonance collection, but the hack event will also be presenting some other British Library collections which may be of interest to you. 
If you are able to join us for this event – or just part of it even – then you’d be very welcome. You can find out more and register here:
and if you have any questions before the day please feel free to ask.
Best wishes
Paul Wilson
Curator, Radio
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: 020 7412 7446
Email: pwilson at bl.uk
Web: www.bl.uk/soundarchive
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